I have been using the brand new RIPDialer service for some 4 months now and to be honest I can’t remember how I coped without it before. Apart from saving me a fortune in mobile call charges, the biggest impact has been in my ability to appear as though I am calling from either my London or Spanish office, right from my mobile.
RIPDialer actually stores my various Cli’s directly on my mobile and when I go to make a call it gives me the option to choose any of these as the Cli for the call; my business numbers, my home number or my mobile number. Adding numbers was seamless and I can even pre-set a contact to use a particular number as the Cli and use it automatically when I dial.
Apart from acting as a ‘post it note’ board, I have stopped using my desk phone completely, much preferring the ease of use found from my mobile.
Once I got my head around having the ability to deliver any number from my mobile I started to appreciate the possibilities.
I got to thinking about numbers and the added advantage of having a dedicated personal phone number - I could obtain my own virtual phone number and use that as my personal number instead of my mobile number and this would allow me to be non-reliant on my sim number. I could swap and change sims at will and if travelling abroad simply stick a local pay as you go sim in my phone and re-point my private number to the new sim number so that family friends and work colleagues could still get hold of me. At the same time I could make low cost calls anywhere and still deliver my work or personal number when calling – a nice work around to roaming cost issues.
It is funny how quickly things change. I was with a client the other day talking about a possible PBX installation – “do you mind using mobile phones in the office?” I asked, “Not at all, we’d actually prefer to use mobiles”, the reply! Outside of a reception desk and call centres of course, I think we might be heading for a time when desk phones become outdated in favour of mobile phones – lower capex, easier to install and maintain, no secondary internet connection, can still work in conjunction with a PBX, instant phonebook, truly mobile and doesn’t fail in the event of a power outage.
The biggest hurdle in the past has been the huge difference in cost between VoIP and GSM calls and hence why VoIP and SIP handsets have had a huge impact within telecoms in recent years – with the advent of truly low cost hybrid GSM/VoIP calling as found with the likes of RIPDialer and employees keen on BYOD, I believe the tables are set to turn in favour of mobile handsets.
I remember about 8 months ago we took on a new remote telesales staff member. We supplied her with a pre-configured sip handset and she was all set to start, except we just could not get the SIP handset to register! We sent engineer after engineer to her house, we contacted her internet supplier to open ports and assist with debugging the issue, we supplied new routers, and even new handsets – in the end we gave her a mobile phone and asked her to use that. Back then we could bounce the calls to our VoIP service and so cost wasn’t an issue, but I know we had a lot of wasted calls because an unknown mobile number was being seen by recipients.
Now I don’t hesitate in supplying a new mobile handset to a remote employee, I have absolutely zero % installation issues or costs, I know it will work out of the box, and I know every call being made is being made as tough from the company. If the member of staff wants to use their own phone, no problem, we install RIPDialer and agree to pay for any calls made where the company number is used – anything else is deemed a private call. The ability to separate out business and private calls in a simple format has lead to an easier life for the accounts department and zero disputes.
Do you ever have those days when your engineers are running late or can’t find a customer’s location? So they call the office, “Mandy can you call Mr X and tell him I’m running 20 minutes late?” and their follows a ‘to and fro’ set of calls between the three parties with Mandy on reception playing ‘piggy in the middle’ – all because we can’t possibly let the customer know the engineers mobile number, for fear he’ll be hassled morning noon and night! RIPDialer solves this issue, with engineers now able to contact customers directly without fear of their underlying mobile number being seen! If they do allow a customer to contact them directly it is always done via the PBX as a divert using their extension and giving the engineer the opportunity to accept or decline the call and if declined or unanswered putting the caller back into the PBX for someone else to respond.
Until now the mobile phone has been semi-useful in the business world, now with the advent of RIPDialer it has the ability to become indispensable.
Is RIPDialer a ‘Game Changer’? Time will tell, but it looks that way to me.